Former England midfielder Rob Lee has exclusively told Football FanCast that Tottenham’s Matt Doherty is suffering from a change of system, but it’s too early to judge the defender.
Doherty has been one of the standout right-backs in the Premier League in recent seasons, but since making the surprise switch from Wolves last summer, has struggled under Jose Mourinho.
The Republic of Ireland full-back has made 12 league starts in total, although the last of those came in the north London derby where he endured a wretched afternoon against Kieran Tierney and was notably at fault for Arsenal’s equaliser.
Doherty’s difficulties against the Gunners saw him dropped from the squad for Tottenham’s victory at Aston Villa on Sunday – with youngster Japhet Tanganga preferred at right-back, whilst Serge Aurier missed out through illness.
But despite his tricky start to life at Spurs, Lee admitted that Doherty needs time to adapt. He told Football FanCast:
“I think Doherty is a good player, but he was so used to playing wing-back, and sometimes now he plays as a right-back.
“The system at Wolves suited him so much. Sometimes he gets found out defensively, but as a wing-back you haven’t got to be defensive. He can run, technically he’s a decent player, but I think he has got to get used to playing as a full-back and not a wing-back.
“He has got Bale in front of him sometimes, Moura, all of these different players. Spurs have got so many options around him, whereas Wolves never really changed their personnel – that’s why they did so well. Let’s judge him next year.”
With Tottenham now out of Europe and Doherty seemingly below Tanganga in the pecking order, the former Wolves man might find his opportunities hard to come by when Spurs return to action following the international break.